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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Handling is sharp and diesels are punchy

Against It only has five seats and the ones in the rear are fiddly and awkward to remove

Verdict It's a practical five-seat car with a sparkling drive

Go for… 2.0 TDCi Zetec

Avoid… 1.6 petrol

Ford Focus C-MAX MPV
  • 1. Watch for misfires on 2.0 diesels and 1.8 petrols - often caused by a faulty ECU
  • 2. There are only five seats, so it isn't as versatile as the best compact MPVs
  • 3. There was a recall to fix problems with the electronic parking brake, so check the necessary work has been done
  • 4. A second recall concerned the wiper motor, so check that the work has been done
  • 5. The boot is plenty big enough for a family's luggage
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Ford Focus C-MAX MPV full review with expert trade views

The chassis is the same as the regular Focus hatchback's, and it shows. The handling is sharp, the steering more accurate than any other MPV's, and there's minimal body roll (passengers will like that as much as the driver).

The firm ride is never uncomfortable and the diesels have plenty of pulling power. All models cruise quietly at motorway speeds.

Inside, there are only five seats, so it isn't as versatile as the very best compact MPVs, and the rear three individual seats are heavy and awkward to remove - don't try it on your own. Even so, it's spacious enough for three adults in the rear and there's a decent-sized boot.

The raised driving position gives good visibility, and is surrounded by well-placed controls and you'll find handy storage areas dotted throughout the cabin.

It achieved a very creditable four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.

Trade view

John Owen

As good as the Focus. Avoid LX models and 1.6 diesels

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

There are three petrol engines. The 1.6 can feel underpowered when you're loaded up, but the 1.8 is a smooth, free-revving engine and the 2.0 gives the added punch of 143bhp.

We prefer the three diesels, though. Apart from the extra fuel economy, they dish out plenty of pull at lower revs, so they are more relaxing and easier in day-to-day driving.

The 1.6 TDCi is decent, but we'd choose the 1.8 TDCi or ideally, the 2.0 TDCi for its bigger muscle and six-speed gearbox, which is great for cruising.

All models come with twin front, side and curtain airbags as well as anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.

You get very few creature comforts in Studio trim, so steer clear of it. Air-con and a CD player appear in LX trim. Zetec (our favourite) adds alloy wheels and top-trim Ghia gives cruise control, climate control and electric rear windows.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesel remains the first choice with buyers as petrol values slip back

James Ruppert
Used car guru

You'll pay about the same for a C-Max as for a Renault Scenic and less than for the Corolla-based Toyota Verso or Volkswagen Touran.

Owners cited cheap insurance as one of the C-Max's best features in JD Power customer satisfaction surveys. Most 1.6 petrols and 1.6 diesels slot into group 5 or 6, while the rest are between group 7 and 10. The 2.0-litre petrol Ghia will hit you for group 12, though.

Your wallet won't take a beating at the fuel station. The 2.0 petrol's official average of 39mpg is as bad as it gets. The diesels should stretch that beyond 50mpg and the 1.6 TDCi can nudge 60mpg with a careful right foot.

Servicing will set you back about the same as for a Picasso or Verso, but is likely to be dearer than for a Scenic or Touran.

Trade view

John Owen

As good as the Focus. Avoid LX models and 1.6 diesels

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

This isn't Ford's best-built car by a long way. Owners report problems with mechanical reliability, bodywork, interior trim and controls - and not just in JD Power customer satisfaction surveys. A read through the reader reviews on this website shows that you need to give the C-Max a close inspection before buying.

The electronic parking brake can give trouble and there has been a recall over this, so ensure that any remedial work has been done. Likewise, there was a recall on the wiper motor over concerns that it may overheat.

Watch for misfires on 2.0 diesels and 1.8 petrols - often caused by a faulty ECU. This is more common on early cars, although Ford sorted many under its three-year/60,000-mile warranty.

The instrument panel can fail completely and there are many reports of rattles and squeaks inside the cabin, so listen out for them on the test drive.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesel remains the first choice with buyers as petrol values slip back

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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